Andrea Harrn Counselling Services

My thoughts on Karma

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about karma how it can be a useful way to make sense of life experiences, thoughts and events. 

If you are not familiar with the word Karma you may recognise some of the following statements (or even have your own ways of saying the same thing).

You reap what you sow

You get back what you give

It will all come home to you

Treat others as you wish to be treated

Do unto others what you you would like others to do unto you

The concept of karma is central to the Hindu and Buddhist religions who believe in reincarnation as the means to spiritual renewal.  Karma is a Sanskrit word that means action.  It is neither judge nor jury.  It is simply the universal law of cause and effect that says every thought, act, word or deed carries an energy in the world which affects our present reality.  For example, if we say something hurtful to another person they will feel the negativity of our words.  If you give encouragement to another then they will feel valued.  If somebody speaks badly of you then you might feel upset or confused too.

Karma is the stone that causes future ripples in the soul’s life stream and the fruits of karma may be seen immediately or may take time or even many cycles of reincarnated lives to manifest.  There is both positive and negative karma and we are all responsible and accountable for the karma we create for ourselves which can relate to spiritual lessons from our past and present lives.

It is my belief that our souls are connected to the universe: we are not a separate entity existing alone.  The “self” or “I/ego” is part of a wider cosmos made up of various elements.  We are a product of and mutually dependent on many variables:

  1. We exist because our parents made us and they exist because of their parents before and so on therefore we have the genetic input and memory of many souls before us.
  2. We need air, water and food to survive all of which constitute their own energetic make-up.
  3. We rely on the nurturance of others as babies to develop into healthy independence and this nurturance will be a reflection of the nurturance of those before us and will affect how we view the world.
  4. Our ability to live in society depends on our awareness of and discipline to social mores.
We are all part of an overall network of various elements such as family, genes, talents, personalities, social connections, social environment, world conditions and natural phenomena.

The working out of our life involves our understanding of how we relate to ourselves and others and how our karma comes back to us depends on our actions.

It is based on a principal that individual behaviour will mirror universal patterns.  The tiniest act, a thought for example, can have an enormous impact……the ripple effect……     The energies of all our thoughts and actions have the potential for change above and beyond ourselves and our own lives.  An examination of our individual karma can offer clues about our own purpose here on earth. It may include intuitions into the psychic streams of our past lives and can help us to create a future for ourselves that we wish for.

More understanding about the lessons learnt so far and the reasons why we might have needed to learn them will allow us to move forward with new possibilities.  Understanding can lead to choice – for example in letting go of old habits and instead welcoming new ideas.

When we take a positive approach to live, acting with good intention, not holding onto negativity or resentments but moving into forgiveness and acceptance we are offering ourselves an opportunity to clear bad karma.

On a more global level what we do, say and think will create a result out there in the universe.  That result is karma.  We are all responsible and accountable for our actions on a spiritual level.  For example living in a divided world where one group of people manipulates for financial gains or believe themselves to be superior to others will have a negative effect and actions that follow may be attributed to the karma of all concerned.  

Thoughts and actions have energy and if we want to live in a more loving conscious caring world then we need to put out positive energy, actions and thoughts for global good.

How will I know my good actions are being noticed:

Actions and rewards will not always be apparent – if you behave with good intention then there will be a positive outcome even though you may not be aware of it.

If bad things happen to me does it mean I have bad karma or I deserve what I get:

Everything happens for a reason.  For instance you might fall out with someone you worked with and end up having to leave a job – that might be a difficult situation for you.  In that difficult space you have an opportunity rethink about your values and goals and any lessons you learnt from the falling out.  These new insights will take you forward onto new paths in your life.  A bad situation does not have to lead to another bad situation.  

However, if your life has been full of tragedy or illness then maybe you have a lesson to learn about being strong or patience or resilience.  That seems harsh to say and in truth I don’t know why really bad things happen to some people while others seem to sail through life.  If you are reading this and feel your life has been particularly hard then try and feel the love and support of those around you to help you find your courage and in that courage find meaning for your own life in a positive way.

Is changing Karma possible?

Yes, because karma means action (not in-action).  If we think about our soul being on a journey then our karma can guide us and help us along the way so we are able to learn the lessons needed for this lifetime.

When you understand your unique path you can adjust your actions accordingly.  Our own karma (actions) connect with cause and effect and we have the choice to unlock patterns to choose a better path for ourselves.

When karma becomes problematic it is usually connected to our attachment to intense emotions such as fear, hatred, resentment and love.  If we cling to feelings they accumulate and settle in our minds and will continue to exert influence on us.  If they are embedded or stuck or become obsessional they can carry on from one experience to another (even across lifetimes).

Not being attached to thoughts, the results of actions or other people – just doing and just being is the most effective way to transcend karma and make spiritual progress.  The Buddhist “art of non-attachment”.

Some famous quotes about Karma:

How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours    Wayne Dyer

My actions are my only true belongings.  I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.  My actions are the ground upon which I stand     Thich Nhat Hanh

Men are not punished for their sins, but by them    Elbert Hubbard

There are the waves and there is the wind, seen and unseen forces.  Everyone has these same elements in their lives, the seen and unseen, karma and free will      Kuan Yin

Life gravity, karma is so basic we don’t even notice it     Sakyong Mipham

Before you begin on the journey of revenge, dig two graves    Proverb

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5 thoughts on “My thoughts on Karma

    1. Andrea Harrn Post author

      Thank you Sandy. I find it to be a fascinating area. Quite often I have to remind myself and others that it is not our role or purpose to determine future karma. All the best

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